Ferran Torres talks following ‘his best game’, carrying Barcelona to 2-0 Cadiz victory
Coming off a largely unimpressive performance against Manchester United, Barcelona were under pressure against Cadiz in La Liga. While they were still five points clear on top of the table, the decision to rotate in the Europa League did not sit well with supporters.
With Pedri injured and Ronald Araujo suspended, Xavi made a few changes to his best starting XI. Sergi Roberto played as an interior alongside Gavi, while Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres started on the wings. Eric Garcia was called into central defence.
While it was a largely mixed game, Torres, in particular delivered a stunning performance. He was easily the best player on the pitch, and was responsible for creating the first goal after going past three players on the right flank.
“Maybe the first 45 minutes were my best for Barcelona,” Ferran said, speaking about his Man of the Match display, as quoted on BarçaTV+.
He was on the pitch for 90 minutes, and eventually walked back to chants and applauds in his name in front of a packed Camp Nou.
Evidently emotional after his game, Ferran also said, “I’m proud that the Camp Nou applauded me. Now, it’s time to keep working because the hard thing is to keep on delivering.”
“It’s difficult to showcase all of your ability here since the beginning due to pressure and everything else,” he added.
Ferran’s poor form leading to this game
For the most part of the season, Ferran has been playing fourth fiddle to Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, and Ansu Fati in the winger pecking order. It became even more difficult for him after Xavi shifted to a four-man midfield system.
However, the context leading up to this Ferran performance is very important. For the most part, the Spaniard has been criticised for doing well off-the-ball but not being able to finish. Today, though, all his best work was done on-ball.
He completed ten dribbles tonight (out of 12 attempted), created five chances (including one big chance), and won 18 duels tonight. All of them a game-high.
And while he was unable to get on the scoresheet, it was clear that Ferran is capable of so much more than just poaching inside the box.
Ahead of this game, Xavi commented on Ferran, saying the player needed confidence more than anything else right now. In fact, reports about his mental health had been circulating for a while, with news claiming that he had hired a psychologist to help him get back to his best.
Cementing a spot for Manchester United clash
This performance from Ferran Torres has eventually raised the big question – will he start vs Manchester United on Thursday now? There are certain things to address before that, though.
Firstly, with Gavi and Pedri out for the game, Xavi cannot field the four-man midfield system. Ideally, it would mean one of Ansu Fati or Ferran start on the left-wing while Raphinha mans the right side.
The former seemed like an obvious pick before this game, but his lack of defensive work-rate, coupled with poor form makes Ferran seem the better choice.
Moreover, momentum is a very crucial thing in football. If the Spaniard can replicate most of his excellent work today vs United, it could help him compete for a starting spot. He will, however, be up against Aaron Wan-Bissaka, one of the best 1v1 defenders in the world.
Not to forget, Ferran’s best games for Barcelona have almost exclusively come from the right-wing. And that spot seems to be Raphinha’s for the taking until Dembele is injured. Fati is a far more natural fit at left-wing, which makes Xavi’s choice for the game very interesting.